In response to reports of P54.8 million in agency bonuses and allowances for 2012, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chair Margie Juico said “the only ‘bonus’ we got was the joy of reaching out and helping the poor Filipinos.”
The Commission on Audit (COA) is requiring several government agencies to refund the bonuses they gave out to their board members and employees.
Juico said the PCSO has not given any bonuses for the past two years.
She clarified that half of the questioned amount was used for the cost of living allowance (COLA) of officers and rank-and-file employees and the rest went to weekly draw allowances (WDA) for certain extra duties of officers and employees.
The grant of COLA and WDA bears post facto approval and continuing authority from the Office of the President, as stated in its letter on May 19, 2011. The presidential post facto approval is part of the President’s powers under the 1987 Constitution and Joint Resolution 4.s 2009, which authorizes him to modify the compensation and position classification of civilian personnel.
The Supreme Court acknowledged the President’s authority to issue post facto approval in SRA vs. COA, GR 134740 dated October 23, 2001. As a revenue-generating government corporation, the PCSO has always received such post facto approvals throughout the decades.
Since 2010, the COLA and WDA has not increased following a moratorium imposed by Executive Order 7, s. 2010 on increases in salaries, allowances, and benefits.
PCSO strictly follows the rules promulgated by the COA on notices of disallowances (ND). COA rules and regulations allow for appeals within six months of receipt of ND to the COA director, after which the matter goes to the Adjudication and Settlement Board, then to the Commission proper, and from there to the Supreme Court by certiorari.
Juico said all bonuses, allowances, and other forms of compensation given to PCSO directors, officers, and employees are all proper and in order and have legal and administrative basis, in accordance with appropriate guidelines.
“Any such payments found after due process to be unlawful or not in accordance with existing rules and regulations will be returned in full. We will continue to work closely with COA and the Governance Commission for GOCCs [government-owned and -controlled corporations] to further enhance the quality of PCSO’s financial transactions,” said Juico, under whose leadership the agency has gained its highest income.